American Darling | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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American DarlingAmerican Darling
Very Good
303 Ratings
American DarlingAmerican Darling

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our 2015 American Darling is decoction brewed, unfiltered German style lager.

If you’re looking for a reason to try Pretty Things this summer, we hope a well-stated 5.5% pale lager might be a good bet. This beer bears our usual stamp of authenticity-at-the-expense-of-convenience, so here is a decoction lager brewed with German malt and hops, and fermented at cool temperatures with German lager yeast for over 6 weeks.

This time we were looking to make the un-lawnmower beer (with an emphasis on the “UN”). Just how do we go about doing that? Well, we start with some of the world’s greatest pilsner malt from Weyermann in Bamberg, Germany. There’s no rice and corn in our darling either – just the best barley malted for this purpose in the world. What else? We use a decoction brewing method: this comes from old German brewhouses, where temperature control was not possible, so a portion of the mash is removed, brought to boiling temperature and then re-mixed with the rest of the mash. This is a whole lot of work, but we think it’s worth it because it gives a whole lot of authentic Germanic flavour! All of the hops used in American Darling come from the Hallertau hop region of Germany. Finally, fermentation uses a blend of two of Europe’s great lager yeasts, with low temperature fermentation and lagering, over six weeks.

Put it in your coolers, your picnic baskets… your saddlebags. Take it to family reunions and pie-eating contests, parades, beaches, fancy mustache conventions, hot dog factory tours, monorail excursions, secret basement lairs… wherever good summertime fun happens!

Then fire up the grill, not just once – how about every day?! Get out the horse shoes, kick up your feet and forget that oily red jalopy out back even has a purpose. Stop mowing, start having fun times! Cheers to summer!

45 IBU

Added by jamie2dope on 07-17-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 303 |  Reviews: 147
Reviews by glib:
Photo of glib
4/5  rDev +2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2010
Batch 2
In a pilsener glass the beer was gold colored with a thick, white, whipped cream head. Beautifully carbonated.
Sweet malt aroma backed up by floral hops.
Upfront big malt taste, piney hops at the end.
A nice, crisp, refreshing beer.
Good summer quaff.

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Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, clear, gold in color, low carbonation

Smell and Taste: grass, honey, small citrus hops

Mouthfeel: very light bodied and moderate carbonation, sweetish start with a bitter middle and end

Drinkability: An excellent summer sipper. Tastes very pilsner like. I could have several of these.

 313 characters

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of juicebox
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy straw color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of crisp pilsner malts with good amounts of leafy and light citrus hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as crisp. Smooth pilsner malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mildly leafy and earthy hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors brighten up a bit with the addition of light citrus. The light citrus hops fade out into a crisp and moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was very surprised by the 7% ABV as it drinks much easier than that. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of degerbah
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear and golden with very little head. Little smell at all. The taste is awesome. All the crispness and drinkability of a light lager with some extra hop taste and a lot of punch. The hop taste sticks in the mouth a little longer than I'd like given the style, but it's one of th emore drinkable beers I've ever had.

 323 characters

Photo of lnashsig
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Nuggethops for the chance to taste this. A very generous extra included in our recent trade. Poured into my dfh snifter, pours a gorgeous bright yellow color, visible bubbles from the bottom. awesome fluffy cloudlike white head fills the glass and then recedes, nice retention. Smell- fresh cut grass, lemon peel, cracked pepper. Why does this remind me of a Saison? Taste- just a really crisp, smooth, yet hoppy lager. wonderful. Mouthfeel- tight carbonation makes for a really nice dry finish. Drinkability. 6.5% wow- could have fooled me. This is just a solid, well made brew.

 594 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear yellow with a chunky 1-2 finger head. Decent lacing left behind while drinking.

S: Definitley some grain and pale malts. Also some lemon and citrus/fruit notes.

T: Up front got some nice fruit, mostly lemon and some apple action, then it is followed up with some malt and a little doughiness at the end. Very nice.

M/D: Well carbonated, nice bubbles on the tongue. Probably inbetween light and medium bodied. A very nice lager. I didn't know til I came to review it that it was 7%. Very good beer.

 519 characters

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of schinebd
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Light yellow and clear. A nice white head. Could be a glass of Bud Light...could be glass of Welch's White Grape Juice...could be craft beer?

Smell - Weak smell of some European hops and that's about it. Very one dimensional aroma.

Taste - Absolutely phenomenal for the style. A nice crisp taste that balances the European hop presence with bready malts. A great dry finish. The flavors bounce off of each other quick well.

Mouthfeel - Very light, dry and crisp.

Drinkability - Excellent. The flavors that linger on the tongue after each sip beckon for the next drink. Can not believe this beer is 7%. Wish it came in a sixer, but the $5 bomber is hardly a bank breaker.

 688 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ShogoKawada for this one. Bottled June, 2010 - Batch 2. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Moonlight shaped pint glass.

Brilliantly clear amber liquid with a delicate ivory head that recedes to a skin and collar. Decent lacing despite the somewhat poor retention.

Aromas suggest corn silk, cedar, and very lightly toasted malt with a whisper of caramel and freshly cut grass (or freshly mown hay?). Vague spice cake notes emerge as the beer warms.

Malt is quite flavorful, reminding me something of a Vienna Lager with mild but salient melanoidins. There is also a surprising fresh noble-hop-like bitterness on the palate to offset the sweetness derived from (I assume) adjuncts. Grassy, toasty finish.

Light bodied, but with a sense of heft I can't quite figure out (perhaps from the ABV - though that is unobtrusive). Moderate carbonation.

Maybe not quite as drinkable as something like Session Lager, but this may have more going on in the flavor profile. Considering how many crap versions of this style exist, it must take true craft to get it right - and Pretty Things certainly did.

A great beer to introduce macro lovers to craft I think...

 1,166 characters

Photo of stephengraniero
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of ralflord
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a few of these up in the 1000 Islands in Ontario. Pours a golden color with a decent head. Smell is very pleasing with a fruity, malty twang. The flavor is excellent. I normally do not like lagers, but this has expectional taste. Perfect for a humid evening. Drinkability is excellent, but beware abv is 7% so you could be out of control quickly (Might be a good thing). Pretty Things is producing some great beer. Highly recommended!

 438 characters

Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared a fresh bomber with myself. I was expecting a clean, balanced well-made lager, but this was way beyond that. Blew my mind a little. The decoction mash creates a big caramel malt flavor over milder toasty, bready malt. Meanwhile, big spicy hops roll through for a dry, bitter finish. Much hoppier than most pilsners. Clearly no lawnmower beer. Damn, what a lager.

 369 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to xnicknj !

pours a bright orangish straw yellow with an inch high or so pillow like head. excellent retention and light lacing.

lots of sweet candy like malts. nice light floral and crisp hops

a quite complex lager. very crisp and floral and a moderate malt backbone. malts are a bit sweet like. a slight funkiness in the middle. the finish is a pine like bitterness.

fairly heavy body, almost chewy like for a lager. mild to moderate carbonation. nice bite in the finish.

this is a great lager, nice and complex. i wish these were 12oz bottles and not a 22 though.

 579 characters

Photo of alexbutler
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light foam, which levels to a thin veil. Slight hue of amber, not a particularly thick pour. Not much lacing.

S - Gentle musk of earthy tones here. Much like the label advertises, reminiscent of rain on a freshly cut lawn. Nothing overpowering.

T - Very tasty. Unobtrusive, yet fresh flavor that invokes simplicity. A somewhat heavy mouthfeel that doesn't linger and stays light.

M - Nothing too wild on the tastebuds, remains pretty humble.

O - An unpronounced lager here, I enjoyed it very much. Doesn't go overboard with the flavorings, this is a beer when you are looking for something fresh on a summer night. Won't weigh you down.

 647 characters

Photo of Larrydoherty
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of nickd717
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber shared by bring BA, who "bringed" a few Pretty Things bottles to a tasting last night. Thanks, Barry!

Pours slightly hazy yellow small white head.

Aroma is light and smooth with pale malt, corn, and mild grains. Some floral notes.

Flavor is pale malt and grain. Maybe a little spice to it. Not incredibly complex, but very pleasant and tasty for the style. Some mild floral hops in there.

Fairly smooth on the palate with medium body for the style and soft carbonation.

Very drinkable and excellent for the style overall. This is more or less what BMC beers should aspire to in my opinion. Can't believe this is 7% ABV. I would have guessed 5%.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pilsener- pours a clear golden straw color with 2.5 fingers of creamy white head, a few splashes of lacing, visibly effervescent.

Smells pretty enticing- pale malt sweetness balanced pretty equally with earthy yeast tones and a little dry hops.

Taste is not quite as well balanced- pretty heavy on the malt sweetness, much less of the yeast, and only a trace of the noble hops.

Mouthfeel is a little too sticky for me- medium light body with light carbonation; a little chewy. Not quite my idea of a summer refresher but decent. I won't get it again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Riggsy, the last of my fantasy football winnngs, sigh...Bottled June ll

Pours a hazed & effervescent straw/apricot color with a pinky of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & grainy notes

T: Crackery notes, white grape juice & a touch of lemongrass & orange peel up front. I get a bit of juicy fruit fruit up front & sweet cereal as this warms with slight astrgent grain bitterness lurking in the background, but mostly juicy-fruit & a whisper of coriander & white pepper. Finshes with peppery spiceyness, grainyness & sweet cereal

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation, decent balance, a touch too sweet to sesion on

This is drinkable enough, but not anything I am really that excited about. This definetly a proper lawn mower brew

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Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazed straw gold, topped with a finger of bright-white head. This retains with a thin layer of froth that skims the surface that leaves back a slowly receding cascade of foamy lace. The aroma gives off a deep twang in the nose of citrus, bread, and earth. The hops really add some extra edge here to the nose.

Hops have even more strength in the taste, with a leafy and citric bitterness that is sharp across the tongue. Some sweet fruit flavors and slightly stiff feeling toasted grains mostly balance things out on the edges of the profile. Dry citrus peel sticks in the mouth on the finish. Maybe a bit too much so. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp feel that blows up in the mouth. This is coming off a bit over carbonated actually but does seem to softer up some the longer it sits in the mouth.

No bad. The only things holding this back were the slightly harsh finish and the overly prickly feel, which does get a bit distracting at times. Overall though, I found this to be mostly flavorful and enjoyable. You just have to let that carbonation settle down a bit in the mouth.

 1,148 characters

Photo of beerman999999
5/5  rDev +27.6%

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American Darling from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 303 ratings